Understanding SMSF compliance obligations. Start with this checklist

As an SMSF trustee, you know the complexities of managing your own fund – it can be a juggling act to stay on top of regulatory and compliance mandates, maintain accounting obligations, manage your investments and stay abreast of government retirement policies. But there is a solution. A supported SMSF service allows you to retain control over all your decisions, while passing most of the tedious paperwork and complex compliance management onto an expert. You’ll also be up to date on regulatory changes. Let us show you how we can help simplify SMSF compliance while you remain in control.

Four ways we can support you with compliance checks

1. Prepare for government checks

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) plays a role to ensure SMSF’s play by the rules.

  • Do you have a regularly reviewed investment strategy?
  • Are all fund monies and assets held separately from those held by trustees or directors personally, or by a related employer?
  • Are all fund investments compliant with the super laws?
  • Are all contributions received by the fund allowed under the super laws?
  • Are all benefit payments made in accordance with the super laws?
  • Have proper and accurate records been maintained for the required timeframes?

How we can help you

We can help empower you to retain control of your SMSF and investments, while drawing on the expert guidance and support of in-house SMSF specialists to make the compliance and reporting seamless. We can help with SMSF accounting and administration, compliance, pensions, financial statements, audit and actuarial requirements, as well as reports.

2. Avoid personal penalties

As a trustee, you may be subject to personal penalties if your SMSF breaches compliance.

  • Are you regularly reviewing and documenting your investment strategy to ensure it remains aligned with member needs and considers the merits of life insurance for every individual?
  • Are you valuing your SMSF assets at market value when preparing financial statements, including transfer balance caps and the calculation of your total super balance?
  • Did you sign an SMSF trustee declaration within 21 days of becoming a trustee, declaring that you understand your duties and responsibilities as an SMSF trustee? 

How we can help you

Given the ever-changing rules and complexities around compliance, our experts make it their job to be on top of everything to help you remain compliant and avoid potential large penalties imposed by the ATO, if you breach any of the compliance requirements for your SMSF.

3. Stay on top of your super balance

Your total super balance can affect your SMSF’s compliance.

  • Did you know your asset values supporting accumulation and retirement-phase investments are measured annually at 30 June?
  • Are you aware this balance can limit contributions and your ability to access several tax offsets? 

As an example, one change introduced by the government in the 2017 super reforms was the “total superannuation balance”. It’s how the ATO values your total super interests and works out your eligibility for carrying forward any unused concessional contributions, non-concessional contributions, government co-contributions and tax offsets for spouse contributions. As an SMSF trustee, your members' total super balances determine whether you can use the segregated assets method to calculate exempt current pension income (ECPI).

How we can help you

Confused? Hate numbers? We can help demystify this by doing all the calculations to keep compliant.

4. Manage your tracking and reporting requirements

You also need to track and report your retirement-phase transfer balance.

  • The $1.6 million transfer balance cap limits how much capital you can transfer into the tax-free retirement phase of super. So, are you continually tracking your net transfer balance to avoid the potential for an increased transfer balance tax liability?
  • If you’re retired, or aged 65+, are you including your transition-to-retirement balance accounts and certain limited recourse borrowing arrangements too?
  • Are you reporting events that affect the transfer balance cap and your SMSF to the ATO, such as the values of any retirement-phase pension entitlements, and any structured settlement that a member receives and contributes to the SMSF?

How we can help you

We can help you manage SMSF compliance needs relating to current tax and super laws. Equally as important, we can prepare and file your SMSF audit and tax statements well in advance of deadlines, – all while reporting, recording and monitoring processes to check balances are in the right place.

Don’t get tangled up in the web of compliance

Compliance is more than just a hassle of paperwork and numbers – it carries significant penalties and fines if you don’t get it right. Find out more about common SMSF violations and tips to help avoid them  – and remember: we can assist you to manage and stay in control of your SMSF.

A supported SMSF service is your compliance solution – talk to Dixon Advisory today.

 

Discover if self managed super is right for you*

Find out how we can help you achieve your retirement goals by talking to one of our SMSF directors.